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Letter to Chief Justice Gesmundo

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Letter to Chief Justice Gesmundo

On July 5, two senior citizens from Canada emailed the Supreme Court: “Hello Chief Justice  Gesmundo and Senior Associate Justice Leonen, We hope this email finds both of you well. We are two senior citizens (89 years old and 69 years old) from British Columbia, Canada who were touched with the story of Gerardo “Tatay Gerry” dela Pena  and decided we should write to both of you.  Attached are our letters of concern and we ask the support and intervention of the Supreme Court for the release of Gerardo “Tatay Gerry” dela Pena with the Writ of Kalayaan. We hope these letters reach your desks as well.

On July 10, the Judiciary Public Assistance Section emailed back and here is the reply: “Greetings! We acknowledge receipt of your email and are pleased to inform you that the proposed rules on the Writ of Kalayaan is being worked on by the Committee.  Best, JPAS Team, Judiciary Public Assistance Section (JPAS) Supreme Court of the Philippines.” 

Here is the text of the email letters addressed to Chief Justice Gesmundo & Associate Justice Leonen:

“We write to ask for your help in expediting the release of Mr. Gerardo dela Pena, also known as Tatay Gerry, who is currently detained at the Minimum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. We understand that he was transferred there last year after nine years in the Maximum Security Compound. 

We follow the reports of Kapatid, the support group of the families and friends of political prisoners, and we are concerned about Tatay Gerry’s health.  Tatay Gerry, at 84 years, is the oldest political prisoner, and he is doing poorly, his eyesight is not good, and his hearing is deteriorating. 

We ask that the Supreme Court institutionalize the extraordinary legal remedy of the Writ of Kalayaan so that this protective writ can be invoked for political prisoners like Tatay Gerry to address the poor conditions of detention, deteriorating health, and redress problems of injustice.

Reports on the Writ of Kalayaan, as expressed by Kapatid in their letter to your office, “give hope to families of political prisoners that this can be an answered prayer for those in the order of precedence for possible release…. these include minors when arrested, the very elderly and those with life-threatening health conditions, pregnant and nursing mothers, and those serving long sentences.”

We hope that the Writ of Kalayaan can help bring Mr. Gerardo (Tatay Gerry) Dela Pena home to his family very soon.  And the other political prisoners in extreme need of relief that can be provided by the Writ of Kalayaan. We hope for good news on Tatay Gerry’s case.”

Sincerely yours, 

Orval Chapman and Erie Maestro | British Columbia, Canada